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Dearbhla is our Fermanagh Rose!

Fermanagh rose final at the Enniskillen hotel
BROOKEBOROUGH medical student Dearbhla McManus admitted she was ‘very humbled’ and ‘thoroughly shocked’ at being crowned the 2014 Fermanagh Rose.

Dearbhla was selected on Saturday evening in the event held at The Enniskillen Hotel and admitted her suprise at the announcement.

“I was thoroughly shocked. Even the compere stated that I was shaking, I couldn’t believe it. I really did not expect to win. It was not an easy job for the judges to choose the new 2014 Fermanagh Rose as all of the girls who entered would have been great ambassadors for Fermanagh. I feel very humbled to have been selected.”

It took a family nudge for  23 -year-old Dearbhla to throw her hat in the ring this year, but she is now thankful to be a part of the festival she has followed since she was a young child.

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“My family and I watch the Rose of Tralee every year. They have suggested many times that I entered as they felt I would be a good rose. I on the other hand had reservations and felt I did not have the confidence to go up on stage.

“This year my sister decided to fill in the application form for me. We exchanged a few harsh words when I discovered what she did, but now I can’t thank her enough for providing me with the opportunity to be able to represent my county in Portlaoise.

“The whole selection experience was brilliant. Contrary to my previous thoughts, on the selection night I was not nervous at all. Everyone was extremely friendly and we were treated like royalty. I would really encourage all girls to apply next year. It is a brilliant opportunity and who knows, someone reading this could be the next Fermanagh Rose for 2015.”

As part of the selection process Dearbhla and the other girls were interviewed by RTE’s Brendan McArdle and then she played Danny Boy on the piano for the talent portion of the contest.

Now she moves on to the regional festival in Portlaoise and is looking forward to the exciting challenge ahead.

“Having spoken to Julie-Ann about her experience last year I am sure it will be amazing.  I’m delighted I also have to opportunity to meet Daithi O’Shea as I have watched him present the Rose of Tralee over the years. It is a wonderful opportunity to represent Fermanagh and showcase what Fermanagh has to offer and I hope I can do the county proud.”

And does she think she can win it?

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“Yes, I don’t see why not. The next stage of the competition is the regional festival in Portlaoise, then a select few are chosen to attend Tralee. And who knows, come August I could be the very first Fermangh Rose of Tralee.”

Dearbhla is a final year medical student At Queen’s University Belfast and has just passed her final examinations meaning she will graduate as a doctor in July.

“It has been an incredible two weeks and being selected as the Fermanagh Rose this weekend has been incredible. I am thoroughly enjoying life.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA